OREANDA-NEWS. November 23, 2015. Seventy-eight percent of registered voters are concerned that breaching the ethanol blend wall could drive up the cost of gasoline for consumers and reduce the nation’s fuel supply (91 percent of Republicans, 80 percent of Independents, and 73 percent of Democrats), according to a new poll of 1,021 registered voters conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of API.

 “Across the political spectrum, voters are concerned about the significant damage the RFS-mandated higher ethanol blends could cause to automobiles, motorcycles and almost every type of gasoline powered engine,” Greco told reporters on a conference call to release the poll.  “The public gets it. Regardless of their party affiliation, voters are concerned with mandates that try to force too much ethanol into our fuel supply.

 “Our new energy realities have made the RFS obsolete. Americans aren’t consuming as much gasoline as Congress assumed they would when they wrote the legislation in 2007.  That means current ethanol mandates push far more ethanol – far too quickly – into gasoline than today’s vehicles can safely accommodate.” 

 According to the Department of Energy’s fuel economy website, fuel costs can be significantly higher when consumers use higher ethanol blends. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office predicts that increasing mandates under the RFS could push gasoline costs up. And EPA data show lifecycle emissions from corn ethanol are higher than gasoline.

 More results from the poll:

  • Seventy-five percent are concerned that auto manufacturers have said they will not warranty their vehicles if the car's owner fuels up with an ethanol blend that is over 10 percent. (80 percent of Republicans, 80 percent of Independents and 74 percent of Democrats).
  • Seventy-seven percent are concerned that diverting more corn to energy production rather than to food could result in higher food costs and contribute to world hunger. (85 percent of Republicans, 82 percent of Independents and 76 percent of Democrats).

 “EPA must immediately waive down the 2016 total ethanol mandate to below 9.7 percent of total gasoline demand, Greco said. “This would provide a stopgap solution and temporarily protect consumers by avoiding the 10 percent ethanol blend wall while allowing some non-ethanol gasoline to meet consumer demand. We’ll use this poll to remind members of Congress and the administration that American voters are very concerned about the costs and consequences of this unworkable and unnecessary mandate.”

 API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 625 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 25 million Americans. 

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The telephone study was conducted on November 5-8, 2015, by Harris Poll on behalf of API among 1,021 registered voters across the U.S., with a sampling error of +/- 3 percent. A full methodology is available upon request. 

"What America is Thinking on Energy Issues" is a public opinion series provided by API, offering data to inform policy discussions and ensure policymakers and others know Americans' perspectives on key energy issues.